Music critic and journalist
     Cheryl North :: Reviews

World Premiere of David Conte's One-Act Opera, America Tropical

A mini-review of a performance at Thick House, a small professional theater in San Francisco, published in a column in the Oakland Tribune and other papers of what is now the Bay Area News Group, May 25, 2007

By Cheryl North

Last week I saw a deeply moving, meaningful production of a brand new one-act opera by Bay Area composer David Conte, set to a compelling libretto by Oliver Mayer. It was called America Tropical and was performed close-up and personal by a group of excellent singers and instrumentalists led by John Kendall Bailey at small theater called Thick House, Potrero Hill's Professional Theater, in San Francisco. It was an ingenious tale dealing with the tumultuous founding and peopling of Los Angeles, using a 1930s mural painted by David Alfaro Siquieros in the 1930s as its take-off point. While it closed on May 20, with its emotionally gripping music, timely story, and clever, often surprising staging, it certainly merits a second run.


Added by the webmaster in 2011:

A second run occurred in Los Angeles in October, 2010. Composer David Conte tells us that the mini-review above helped to enable that second run of his opera. We hope there will be many more.

See Cheryl North's interview with David Conte from October 2010.